- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Forecast maps for Hurricane Joaquin show that it’s no longer likely to directly hit New England, but Rhode Island emergency officials are preparing anyway.

Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency spokesman Alex Ambrosius said Friday the agency was on standby and talking regularly with the National Weather Service.

Ambrosius says the agency is posting preparedness tips on social media and on its website in case the hurricane “goes outside the cone of probability.”

Joaquin was still battering the Bahamas on Friday morning. Slow weakening of the storm was expected to begin Saturday.

Forecasters originally thought the storm could make landfall in the U.S. but they’re backing off those predictions.

Officials now say the hurricane is likely going to pass offshore of the east coast of the U.S.

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